Posted by: sulya | 15 December 2009

Barney Haunts Me

A few years ago I was sitting at my now ex-in-law’s table, eating cake, I believe, and opening presents for the boyo.  Must have been his birthday?  Or perhaps just a random gift that was wrapped just so the kidlet could enjoy taking off the paper?  Don’t remember.

I remember my ex brother-in-law was there too, in from the other side of the country.  I know that when I helped the boyo open one of the gifts it was a giant electronic Barney picture book.

It has a camera on it.  A pretend camera that pretends to take four pictures.  With click sound and a flash and then four different sounds you can match with four different pictures.  The concept is educationally sound but it’s Barney.  Barney the Stepford dinosaur with his Stepford child assistants and I don’t have much of a poker face.

So, immediately and justifiably defensive, my ex mother-in-law says to my giant, uncomfortable Cheshire Cat grin, “I thought you said you loved Barney?”

My ex bro-in-law throws one of his more quizzical, comical, baffled looks at me.  We had been exchanging looks like that across that table for years and this one was very well-grounded because I have not ever since his heavily medicated purple and green inception said anything kind or even accepting about Barney.  It’s honestly a trade-off between Barney and Celine Dion for who might annoy more.  Usually I could keep it together when the bro-in-law commiserated with is Spock eyebrow raise, but this time it set me into a near-giggling fit because I could picture myself saying – in a very calm, neutral, steady voice:

“Actually, I believe what I said is that I thought Barney was the spawn of Satan.”

I didn’t , of course, but the desire to do just that, the image of how it might play lead to yet another in a long series of quietly ignored gong shows of repressed feelings for a few more minutes.  With my family, I would have just said it and we would have laughed.  I would have just said it and if feelings were hurt apologies would have been tendered and that would have been that.  And for that I am exceedingly grateful but that was not my family.  And now…


A year and a half out of that life and this book keeps coming back to my place in the bag that the boyo fills with the things he wants to go between the houses.

It comes here.  It gets left on the floor under a chair, or by the cats’ food bowls and then when I am quietly thinking or writing or talking on the phone with a friend, a cat steps on it and it clicks and flashes and twinkles high pitched notes that are supposed to be reminiscent of a butterfly flapping its wings.

And I am jarred and confused – then horrified and then annoyed.  And I think, “I could just throw the f–king thing out already.”  No one would care.  Hating Barney was one thing the ex and I always agreed about, actually.

It is no accident, for example, that one of the first really clear sentences the boyo said was:

“Barney is stupid”

But then I think, what if this is karmic retribution for being ungrateful at the table the night it was given?

What if Barney really is the spawn of Satan?

So I leave it.  I try to send it back to the other house.

And it keeps coming back to me.

So, if after I post this you don’t hear from me for a while grab a crucifix, get a priest, a rabbi a Hare Krishna and his tamborine – call the authorities and get your ass over here because a paranormal tabloid death by Barney is just not how I want to go out.


Image Borrowed from HERE





  1. haha this is brilliantly hilarious. My son is into the monster at the moment too

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